Mask-Less Woman Choked By Victoria Police For Resisting Arrest
“Get off me. You’re choking me!”
These chilling words could be heard echoing in a now-viral footage of Victoria Police violently arresting a 21-year-old Melbourne resident.
ABC notes that the male police officer approached the civilian because she was not wearing a mask.
However, the standard police accost turned violent when the male police officer held the woman around her neck before pinning her to the ground, as several other officers responded to the scene.
Another video of the same incident ended up on Youtube. Here, the panicked woman can be heard yelling “Get off me!” as the male police officer sat on her torso.
You can watch the disturbing footage here:
In the aftermath of the violent arrest, it came to light that the woman had a perfectly valid excuse for not wearing a mask: it was doctor’s orders.
However, Victoria police told The Guardian that the woman “did not state” that she was exempted from wearing a mask at the time.
Still, an onlooker in one of the videos could be heard clearly informing the police: “She’s got an excuse for not wearing a mask, she went to the doctor yesterday.”
Melbourne is back to imposing draconian lockdown restrictions, including a $200 fine for leaving one’s home without a mask.
Premier Dan Andrews had warned that the time for leniency was over when he declared harsher restrictions on August 2.
“Those doing the wrong thing will cop a fine from Victoria Police, because the only way to beat this deadly virus is if we all follow the rules,” Andrews said.
Still, choking civilians is hardly the way to keep them safe.
Victoria Police is now launching an internal investigation to see if the arresting officer in the viral footage had any administrative charges to answer for.
For the Premier though, the police deserve gratitude and praise for their efforts. He refused to comment on the Collingwood incident, saying he has not seen the viral video.
"I am supportive of Victoria Police being very cautious when they deal with people who are not wearing masks or who are openly breaking the rules," he said. "I think our Victoria Police have done an outstanding job right throughout this."